Our Obsession with ‘Systems Change’ Leaves Marginalized Women Vulnerable – Let’s Empower Them to Advocate for Themselves
Last December, while driving through rural Uganda, KadAfrica founder Rebecca Kaduru was gravely injured in a car accident. Taken to the district hospital, she faced a stark reality: There was no doctor, no medications, not even gauze and sutures. The experience highlighted the barriers to women's empowerment in the country, where hospitals like this are often the best option for maternal health emergencies, and care is only available to those who fight for it. Kaduru explores why gender equality requires less focus on changing systems, and more on helping women advocate for themselves.
Bringing the Tech Revolution to Health Care: New Report Provides First-Ever Snapshot of Global Digital Health Ecosystems
As the role of technology in health ecosystems grows, the global health sector needs a data-driven approach to measure and improve the status of digital health structures. That's the goal of the Global Digital Health Index (GDHI), an interactive digital resource that tracks, monitors and evaluates how health care providers use digital technology. Joanne Ke Edelman at the Global Development Incubator explores how data collected from 22 countries for GDHI’s inaugural “State of Digital Health” report provides the first-ever snapshot of digital health ecosystems throughout the world.
What Needs to Change in the Indian Medical Devices Ecosystem for Innovators, Entrepreneurs and Patients
In India, imported products account for 80% of medical device sales, and most were developed for middle and high-income countries – far from India’s unique challenges of accessibility and affordability. In recent years, thousands of startups and innovators have emerged to build more affordable public health products. But Dhruv Pandey at Social Alpha writes that government and financing challenges will stop these innovators in their tracks unless entrepreneurs can find alternate paths.
A Closer Look at The World’s Largest Unaddressed Disability: Leveraging Inclusive Business to Eradicate Poor Vision
Uncorrected poor vision affects some 2.5 billion people, costing the global economy $227 billion a year in lost productivity. Yet though 90% of these people live in developing countries, the problem ranks low on the global development agenda – even though it can often be fixed by a simple pair of glasses. Jayanth Bhuvaraghan at Essilor explores the issue, and discusses an innovative solution: the Eye Mitra program, which trains youth in emerging countries to become micro-entrepreneurs, providing primary vision care and selling low-cost eyeglasses in their communities.
Medical equipment is essential for diagnosing and treating patients. Yet due to inefficiencies and a lack of coordination in donations, much of this equipment sits unused in low-income countries — a situation often referred to as equipment graveyards. According to global health consultant Vikas Meka, blockchain could provide a solution. In this post – the first in a series – he explores three common problems with the current medical equipment donation system, and how a blockchain-driven platform could help.
Still Waiting for a Seat at the Table: When Will Global Family Planning Focus on Smaller Private Providers?
The family planning community is not on track to reach its goal of 120 million new contraception users by 2020. And though millions of women in the world’s poorest countries rely on private providers for contraception, Andrea Bare at the William Davidson Institute notes that the private sector lacks a major presence in global family planning discussions. She says this needs to change, arguing that small, for-profit providers in particular can help close the gap.
The Donor-Funded Dilemma: What’s Stopping Emerging Countries from Developing Private Markets for Contraceptives?
In sub-Saharan Africa, the private sector provides family planning solutions to almost 40 percent of women. But that isn’t the case in Malawi, a country that’s long been dominated by donor-funded commodities. Erika Beidelman and Andrea Bare at the William Davidson Institute explore Malawi's family planning landscape, highlighting five factors that may be limiting the private sector’s involvement – issues that may apply to other countries with histories of donor-funded healthcare.
- Health Care
In a world where nearly half of the population is too poor to access essential health services, preventable diseases still claim countless lives. Malaria alone is responsible for over 1 million deaths each year, and sickle cell disease also affects millions across the globe. But these diseases can be significantly helped with early diagnosis and cost-effective treatments, says Hemex Health co-founder Patti White. She explores the innovative technology Hemex has developed to address this issue – and highlights three elements of its approach that can help other social enterprises gain traction in the crowded startup space.